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  #41  
Old 12-07-2019, 05:20 PM
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Been occupied building a flash desk for my daughter in exchange for some help with my project.
Fashioned some wood attachments to guide the roof..the timber I had was always a bit of a worry cause it had to miss some bolts..I will have to take them out and counter sink them which is what I should have done in the first place so was at Bunnings at 6-30 am and got me the appropriate drill bit plus some heavy plastic to go under the floor.

Tomorrow I will make a template out of one eight ply to use to cut the 19 mm stuff as it needs to be tight but not so tight that it gets stuff lowering it in...still have to paint the floor.

Too tired to take photos which is a shame as it is very clear but not being able to use pole master yet I want to avoid the frustration and divert my energy just to building..I can't manage working hard all day cook etc and stay up all night...

Got my hands on a small wheel barrow so I can add clay in the annex area and level it off...So much to do.
Alex
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  #42  
Old 13-07-2019, 07:17 PM
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Counter sunk bolts so brackets pass cleanly, made template out of one eight inch ply will cut floor hopefully in one section tomorrow made 15 legs for daughters desk..good day.
Alex
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  #43  
Old 13-07-2019, 09:08 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex
Enjoying your posts, great reading
At least when your Obs is finished you wonít have to worry to much about wind
Itís been blowing its head off down the south coast here for days
I must be crazy Iím out imaging in 25 to 35 km/hr winds plus an 80%waxing moon overhead
I donít have the space in my yard to fit a Pod or a ROR Obs , just gotta fight the wind with my 8Ē windsock
Good luck with it !!
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  #44  
Old 14-07-2019, 08:29 AM
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Hi Martin

Adversity breeds excellence and drive inventiveness.

Would not "the cube" (there is a thread below) solve your space issues..It's only four foot square foot print and the lid opens with curtains to provide a nice wind break (and additional light shielding).

The wind is bad up here (at the house) but my spot here by the dam is relatively protected from the wind...I don't think being lower is all that bad because the previous future observatory sites were exposed to the wind and worse to lightning which apparently hits the hill top of here and the neighbours property much to frequently for my comfort ( I have a fear of lightning because I was hit thru the phone line once and so as they say once bitten twice shy) fortunately it seems a good choice here.

But it is cold in the van at night, not that it's a worry whilst in bed but when I got up ( 5-38 am) it was 4 degrees and my only solution is a pavers brick heated on my small stove...I put it on 30 minutes ago with a very small flame and already it is a balmy mmm I expected more but it is now 3 degrees but right now the Sun is starting thru the window...but I don't feel the cool at all in my legs and rugged up it's ok up top.

SO my short list is to paint and refit guide brackets, drill thru template (rather that cutting it all to shape) to provide points to transcribe the outline of the floor...Make a bench out of hardwood so I don't have to crawl around the ground to mark out the floor, do the cutting and painting and even drilling for the fastening points...I planed it last night and its a case of necessary preparation and it will be handy for all sorts of things...then on the bench cut the floor, paint it two coats black although wgen it is down I have some imitation floor boarding to put on it..it will look nice but will add to the insulation aspect cause I will put insulation between the top "flooring" and the bottom ply...paint is mainly..well exclusively to protect the floor really when I think about it..damn any colour would have done...anyways it is what it is...and I think I will rotate the whole lot 45 degrees as that is the orientation of the cube in Sydney and the eight works in that set up..it does not reach low stuff but I want only stuff near above for quality..If I want M31 I need to take a set up up the hill near the house ....Rotating the box is not that hard I think if you only expect an inch at a time approach..I was concerned because I did not have that much water pipe for rollers but I spotted some that I need to "borrow" and cut into one foot lengths...Anyways it dawned on me at 3 am I can use some saplings ..may need more than pipe cause the bark will crush you would think adding to friction...still should work either way...when in a permanent position I am changing the door..there is a beam which means one has to bend down to fit thru something less than four feet high..but cutting that beam will reduce the stability of that wall..however once in place I can add some beams running out at 45 degrees and anchored so removing the beam opens the doorway to straight thru upright access..A lot of effort admittedly but for me it is almost a safety issue as bending puts me way off balance ..and I don't want to fall over with an eight inch in my arms...then when in place and before fastening the floor I will dig the holes to take the piers...only half a meter square say say e depth but with star pickets driven as deep as they will go (Frankie pileing) ...add some sewer pc pipe...and for the brackets for the mount I am going to try something I have never done but should work..Make a resin fitting using those stainless steel scouring pads as reinforcement rather than fibre glass...I think although resin the stainless steel approach should make it pretty rigid...anyway they will be on bolts so if replacement is needed it will not be a big deal...plus I have this trick for resin things...I add black tile grout for colouring and it looks great..easy and cheap..like some folk like their woman...but not me..easy and cheap is for material things only.
THEN OR DURING... I have stuff for the exterior corners and perhaps a fear batten both interior and exterior to hold down the cladding and the lining... maybe some power points and turn the back section into a shed to house the little granny and batteries..put some so.ar panels on the roof...maybe a auto garage door set up so I can open it with a remote...It's easy to move but I guess with ASIAIR and all I could just close shop from inside the nice relatively warm van...now up to ...3.5 degrees...maybe the thermometer is wrong it does not feel cold at all....????... Anyways the Sun is really coming in now so I will have another cuppa and some vitimans and Apple and some bacon from last night and get to work...a good thing with it being so cold which would be colder than most frige no freezer section is I can leave cooked meat out..so I made breakfast last night..

Anyways I have a great fridge in Sydney which the batteries in this van will run easy as...
Cooling for summer is what I am working on..might have to go for air con via a granny to cover the worst of it..some fans from acool box under and a roof to go over the van and annex...

BUT as you can see it's almost done.

Alex
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  #45  
Old 14-07-2019, 12:15 PM
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Nearly done but going to Tabby market for some lunch.
Alex
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  #46  
Old 14-07-2019, 05:32 PM
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The bench and laying out the floor is all I managed today but thats ok still making progress.
Alex
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  #47  
Old 14-07-2019, 09:57 PM
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alan meehan (Alan)
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Looks really good alex, love you story as well ,I have a timber floor in my
garden observatory and its great under your feet much better than concrete
ALAN
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  #48  
Old 15-07-2019, 07:05 AM
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Thanks Alan and I was just now thinking what a wonderful thing my little blue genny is for without it using all this hardwood and doing everything with hand tools probably would make the project near impossible... for me.

Wow it is cold in this van ...-1 at 6 am so I went outside expecting dew rather ice on the car but nothing and that is a worry.
The wind is drying out the place which we really dont want cause burning off wont be possible...at least the way I do it...lite up late afternoon so the dew puts the fire out or at least makes it controlable and I do so want to do a burn around the van.
Layed awake trying to figure out the best spot for the pier for the eight because that figures in how to lay out the floor.
Dead center of its four foot square probably is not best...but I cant resolve it with imagination as much as I try ..cause usually I can "see" things in my head as good as on paper..I am sure dead center is not the best place... I was going to bring it and the eq6 this trip but changed my mind at the last minute thinking I would not have time to set it up, which is correct as I dont have the time or rather the energy after working all day (sure I have rests but they are rests so a break does not see me doing things with that spare time)...but it would be great to put it in place and find the best spot...sure I can move the box around next trip but I need to work this out now as I am ready to start fixing the floor in place...maybe I will try getting an idea using the heq5 with something like a stick in plzce of the eight to get a better idea...anyways going to Lismore today for provisions with the girls ...my daughter and my friend her mother☺.
Another issue is planting grass for the van area to stop dust but then there will be grass to mow ...
Heck the wind is picking up.
I was tempted to lite to fire last night ...so glad that I did not...nearly forgot my golden rule, which I did remember, dont lite up if there is wind and or no dew...
Anyways I will have another cuppa and move the mount around and determine if I need anything from Bunnings...And when at Bunnings uying stuff for my daughters flash desk one of the guys out the back gave me 15 lengths of 70mm square pine which I used for the legs...they had minor flaws that when dressed really gave them character...saved a bundle...I am such a lucky man the way folk give me stuff when I need it...look at this van..the site preparation was free the van was free most of the materials came to me free, my labour was free... I often think that karma does happen...as it seems to work for me...
Alex
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  #49  
Old 15-07-2019, 07:42 AM
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If anyone can help...what is the radius on an old eq6 from the polar axis to the puck...if I know that I can make up a template replicating the space and travel for the eight inch.
Alex

Problem solved..pier will be 7.33 inches closer to center of box and 1.5 to one side..also the bottom of the scope could extend out yhe door just a little☺...fantastic.
And for the door I can cut out the top beam and place a beam about a foot above the ground which I will have to step over but thats better than getting thru the current small doorway.
Alex

Cant start work until the ice melts☺
Alex

So decided not to wait for the ice to melt and decided to start the genny and drill me some holes. Damn thing would not start, so gave it a rest and tried again, still no go, a few more then went thru the routine...turn economy mode off..check...make sure cap is loose cause the air vent does not work..check...leave it in the Sun to warm up..have another cuppa...check the oil..it has an auto cut out if the oil is low...no go..no spark plug spanner here and to early to go to the house...another cuppa...went back..damn it I had not switched it on..switch on started first pull...but whilst waiting I realised everything was wrong...it was a mirror reverse ...the template needed turning over...so it was lucky the genny did not start as everything would have been wrong☺.
Anyways one third thru now and so far all looks good...so far.
Alex

And a word of warning...tie your beard up..I could not figure these little "hits" I was getting around my face but then I saw some wiskers sticking out of the cooling fan in the drill...lucky I realised and now stop doing a close up inspection whilst drilling.
Alex

Somehow I managed to assemble this section outside in one piece and drag it thru the tiny door but happily due to many checks and thinking things thru it sat perfectly in place...I wont fasten it to the exterior until all the frame is in so I can make sure everything is one the same level...I hate it when you lay a panel type floor and a bearer is too high and although you nail it down so no one can tell always deep down you know that underneath is not percect and you just cant live with that.
Anyways I may knock off now and go work on the desk for my daughter.
And let me tell you about my trick with the not functional fridge..I pit stuff in there and will always use kt as a pantry..I dont like the idea of gas as things can go wrong...I will bring up my neat 12 volt Aldi fridge in time...last night I cooked some loverly sausages and had half for dinner...the other half I planned to have tonight...so last night U left the fridge door open and as it gets to freezing in the van (1 degree at 6 am or thereabouts and ice on the timber outside) everything was pretty cool ...so put the left over sausages in the fridge which even now is at 5 degrees ...low enough for cooked meat.
But as I have said the more you do the more things pop up in the finishing dept and that does not include painting which even for this small unit is a bit of work.

And I worked out how to rotate it...should work...I will get pipe and place them at the top of an inclinded hardwood plank so when the box is leveled up to sit on the last piece of pipe the thing will want to run down hill turning as it goes...It will be ontetesting to see if it rotates with no effort other yhan lifting it with a lever...thinking it thru I cant see how it wont work.
Alex

She was too tired too work so I came back had a short nap and completed the other frame sections but was too tired to put them in so I will do that in the morning afyer the Moon thing.
Alex
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  #50  
Old 17-07-2019, 05:34 AM
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Just as I thought it went below the trees just at the right moment..still its pretty warm..a toasty 2 degrees☺
Now do I wait for Sunrise or have a nap.

Edit at end of the day----

So as not to appear at the top of this section and give someone else a go... I record here what happened today...I did not have a nap but did a few things in the van to keep warm... checked the 12 volt on the fridge..does not work so it will remain a pantry☺...added the cooking fat from the sausages to my near run up scented candle to get more mileage and now the van smells like mango sausages are cooking☺...but finally when the Sun came up I got stuck into putting the floor in place ..making sure it was level...which was not easy cause the whole thing is not level so I had to use a tricky time consuming method to get it right...but its all nailed in..hopefully tomorrow I can cut the 19 mm ply floor ( it has to go around the internal support beams) which is why I have a thin ply template...

if I can do it by myself I want to rotate the lot 90 degrees...and if I can dig the holes for the piers...but if I just get the floor cut and dropped in place I will be happy.
Alex

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  #51  
Old 19-07-2019, 06:40 PM
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Progress has been slow.

Getting the floor template done in one eight of an inch ply (whats that 3mm??) took some doing and it was getting stuck when checking it which told me that when I tried to put in the 19 mm ply floor in one piece it was not likely to work and probably ran the risk of getting stuck ..so I cut the template down the middle lengthways (2.4 mt.) which made things so much easier and the spin off was I could see where the bearers were which will be so helpful later when fastening the floor and I was able cut the holes for the piers much easier and by using the template make sure they were where they are supposed to be...
So when the templates (now 2☺) were ok I cut out the main sheet...I had bought a cordless saw which would have made the job easy but it had issues so I had to use a jig saw..rather tedious..I think I would have cut 5 meters all up with the jig saw..down the length, and the holes for the piers were half a meter square and then all the intrustions of the internal frames...it took ages.

Have yet to paint it...
Had to do do more things to the frame for the floor and talk about disaster..I used nails and of course with hardwood you must drill...well the drill was a touch too large and the nails would slide out under reasonable pressure..of course nothing should have moved but it did and ...anyways next time I will wait until I have the correct drill...to make matters worse I discovered I had a box of screws that world have been better...but its done and looks good and the floor seems level..although the whole thing was not level so I had the construct the floor not level it will be level when I put it all on piers...

So that was the easy part.
Rotating the thing was on the list today..yesterday I rounded up some water pipe to make rollers...early start ..clamp the first pipe on the bench start the genny and the angle grinder runs but causes the genny to stop...so I put the angle grinder down on the ground without switching it off��...big mistake..I restart the genny and the angle grinder churns up dust and takes off straight over my foot and ripped my new boots..I reacted quickly and stopped the genny and thought just how nasty that could have turned out...so I loaded up the pipe and took it up to the house and cut about eight sections of pipe...back to the van site ....so by jacking up the obser atory (with a crow bar) and putting lengths of hardwood and pipe on each corner and levering it a bit here and a bit there I finally managed to rotate the whole thing by 90 degrees. To look at the thing you would have bet it would not go anywhere...but I knew it had to else the eight inch would not work in it...
But by the time I got all that done it was dark ..I just finished and came in for a rest so I thought I would use the rest time to update my progress if anyone is interested.
Tomorrow there is a car rally going past the front of the property but I cant find a good spot for photos..you must stay on your property so that limits me to a long straight and I cant go to the magic corner just up the road from here which would see them in full slides...anyways I brought down the iron for the edges but not sure if I can cut it with the miserable hack saw I have...hopefully I will get some painting down but thinking about that. .. the rally may see dust reaching me here although I am a fair way from the road...anyways I still have plenty to do but having the rotation done means down hill now...oh I do have to dig the pier holes which for me may be a long job ...then the cement but its nearly finished.
Alex
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  #52  
Old 19-07-2019, 07:15 PM
dikman (Richard)
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You were bloody lucky that angle grinder didn't take your toes off!!!


Dust? I thought it had been raining there.
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  #53  
Old 19-07-2019, 09:20 PM
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Yes very lucky the angle grinder could have been damaged☺. And the boots were only those $6 ugh knock offs..I cant wear anything else because my feet burn ..they are all I can tolerate for a while...so cheap and thin so you are right...

It stopped raining days ago..maybe a week..I have lost track of time... but certainly its been fine for a while and windy most days so things have dried out. I gathered some clay the grader left at the side of the drive ( he used my drive to turn in and left great clay) and I had to use the pick the break it free...I am going to use it for some pottery ideas I have and I have already started refining it...looks great and cheaper than the art shop.
Its a great night here clear no dew but I am so tired I cant be bothered to even do some widefield... I am going to watch some history docs and get an early night so I can start early to morrow.
Alex
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:09 AM
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Some photos to add to yesterdays post.
Alex
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  #55  
Old 20-07-2019, 10:03 AM
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So far the rally cars are disappointing ..I recon some of the locals go down the road faster...hang on one just went by sounding more like I expected..he did not slow down for a hump whereas all the others did..so far.
They are pretty quiet.
Alex

Anyways got one side of the floor painted.
Alex
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  #56  
Old 23-07-2019, 08:08 PM
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I am back in Sydney so progress will be seemingly halted...but not so...I need an inverter and circuit board for the van...and I need to round up stuff to take up..I was going to cut up the cube to provide a box for a widefield set up this time down but maybe I will just concentrate on the main box.

I did start painting the lining black...the paint for the floor is water based so when I washed the brush I use that solution for the ply paneling...rather nice effect...and that way nothing wasted...I hate waste...
Alex

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Old 27-07-2019, 07:38 PM
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Today's progress.

A monumental achievement for me...just now finished in the dark. I left it until dark cause I did not want the neighbours to think I was crazy.

In the cube I built a cement pier which I thought if I can get it out of there and somehow lift it over the balcony and throw it over and somehow lift it into the car that will be one less pier to build up North...I forgot that I had not only bolted it down but put it on wet concrete when I put it in...so when I removed the nuts it still would not move.

Fortunately only this morning I found a couple of steel wedges that I forgot that I had and so hammered these and got it separated from the patio.. I was then able to drag it to the other end of the patio where I figured I could probably lift it over and drop it one storey on some plants that would cushion the fall...but I could not lift it and safely drop it as given its weight it was probable it could bounce and damage something...it had so much steel in it I was not worried that it would be damaged but bouncing could have it hit something or cartwheel down the drive even being square that was a concern....so I fashioned a ramp and attached two ropes to the pier to drag it up the ramp..when at the top of the ramp I tied it off with only a foot between where they were tied off and the top of the rail...edged it off the ramp and balanced it on the rail and edged it over holding on so if fell slower..only a foot..enough to not rip the rail out..the rail took it that way and then by easing off on one rope and then the other I was able to slowly and safely lower it to the ground...

I am so happy and hope the ramp idea enables me to get it into the car..I don't know how I will get it out when I get it up North but maybe a couple of ropes up some trees and a little winch (turffer) I picked up at Lismore car boot markets for $15 will justify such a huge investment.

If I remember in the morning I will get some photos but it sure would have been great to have recorded the event on video.

Also I managed to get the EQ6 down the stairs without it being in a box..in a box I can slide things slowly but I managed to sling it under one arm and use the other to hold the rail...it was slow and painful but I did it... for me this was also a big event.

I can't believe I managed to do it all with relative ease.


Alex

Photos.
Alex

I got it into the car but I nearly died..I have been hours trying to recover...but it's in ready to go.
Alex

All loaded ready for the next step..cutting some trees...I have cut down a few..enough to realise it's really a big deal..and I know how to drop them but still dropped three iron barks in the dam...so also loaded is heaps of rope so the newly acquired van does not fall victim.
Alex
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  #58  
Old 29-07-2019, 08:37 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Alex
I really enjoy reading your progress and understanding how you achieve little milestones which ultimately result in hopefully a rewarding completion to your project
I must have missed it but did say your Obs is big enough for your 8Ē f5 ?
Hopefully it is so you can maybe chase after some of the dimmer DSOís

Good luck and enjoy your the fruits of your labourís when itís finished , hopefully with plenty are clear dark skies

Cheers
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Old 29-07-2019, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Alex for sharing. I'm following your epic journey with great enthusiasm. Much like a ongoing Phantom comic in the newspaper, except your adventure actually has a goal, purpose and I believe, a resolution!

Speaking of home observatories, mine is bigger than yours, but infinately less effective. We are in the process of getting a new roof on our house. There is currently no roof present above us tonight.

Naturally, an opportunity to observe was taken from the comfort of indoors... In this case, Jupiter :p
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Old 29-07-2019, 08:21 PM
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Thanks Martin
I write here to put some pressure on myself as I see the date of the last entry and usually things I have listed to do. And I look at the photos sometimes to remember what I have been through.

The observatory will take both the heq 5 with the 80mm and also the eq 6 with the eight inch. ..the reason I had to rotate the thing was so the eight would have room to move.

I have just now walked into the van after 10 hours on the road..in the car is the cement pier and mounting stuff for the eq6 and indeed the eq6, I forgot how heavy it was...its big...as well as the eight inch and lots of stuff such that the car as packed with only room left for a driver...the night here is perfect but I am too tired to set up...moving that cement mount and getting it in the car really knocked me about...well it was not the only thing as packing to a real long time..I am bit sore and very tired.

Now how to get the cement pier out of the car??? That will keep me awake��
Alex

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
Thanks Alex for sharing. I'm following your epic journey with great enthusiasm. Much like a ongoing Phantom comic in the newspaper, except your adventure actually has a goal, purpose and I believe, a resolution!

Speaking of home observatories, mine is bigger than yours, but infinately less effective. We are in the process of getting a new roof on our house. There is currently no roof present above us tonight.

Naturally, an opportunity to observe was taken from the comfort of indoors... In this case, Jupiter :p
Thanks Andy.
Look leave the roof off and install a big tarp that you can move as required

I could not help myself I went out and arranged some tools and looked at things that will help get the cement pier out. I have some nice logs ( don't know what they are but looked like hardwood and is as light as softwood) which I could rig as a tripod which could work...maybe later tonight
I am so tired but after a cuppa and a rest I feel ready to go but I know it's best if I try and sleep... and maybe get up around 3 and try M31 with the Nikon and a 200 mm lens..Being out there just now I realised I have a good North view . ...usually North is of no interest.
Alex

What I did manage to bring was my ALDI camper type fridge which means I can get a couple of roasts to do over the fire pit...there is nothing like a nice leg of lamb slowly cooked over a smoky fire...four or five hours. .. so I can do that and able to keep it after cooked.
Alex

Couldn't get up for M31 but there is cloud here now so probably didn't miss a thing.
Been up since 6-30 am and set up most stuff for more work. Have to clear the car out so I can see if I can get the pier out..well I will get it out somehow but I don't want to knock myself out like when I put it in.

Just setting up here is a task. Set up the solar panels and battery for the astronomy side, but have to do some major rewiring in the van..I want to bypass what is there and know what is running about the place. I purchased another inverter to run the van so as to keep the van and the observatory separate systems.

The to-do list is growing but last night I found a list that I was working from and heck I sure have made some progress.

It does not always feel that way cause you tend to think about what still needs to be done but I do like looking over those lists to realise it is actually moving forward..

I have decided to use the clay for a rather unique chess set and rather than make pieces the same will make everything a individual piece which relieves pressure to copy pieces exact...how to fit it in however.
Alex

Easy as...came out in no time (I didn't time it but maybe only ten minutes) a little planning goes a long way. Really didn't need the turfer but the ramp was critical...

And the other pic is what goes on top of the pier to hold the eq6..it houses the top of the tripod which enabled me to keep it simple..done years ago...but newly painted
Alex
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Last edited by RB; 08-10-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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